A stunning view of Mount Evans, with green vegetation, sand-colored rocks, blue water and bright sky, as one of the locations you can elope guided by Lucy Schultz Photography.

Mt Blue Sky Elopement Guide – 2024 Ultimate Guide

Mt. Blue Sky Elopement Photographer

The first thing I do when anyone visits Colorado is to take them up Mt Blue Sky! As your Mt Blue Sky wedding and elopement photographer, I’ve got all the info for you. This is the highest paved road in all of North America, winding all the way up to 14,265ft. I chose this area for some of my own epic Colorado wedding photos, which is a testament to just how amazing it is. In this guide, I’ll share all my favorite things about the mountain, driving up, permits, and more ideas to make your Mt Blue Sky wedding or elopement fun and stress-free!

Mt Blue Sky Elopement Photos

Outdoorsy lovers Yezi & Daniel eloped on Mt Blue Sky at Summit Lake and Echo Lake at sunrise. It was absolutely stunning!

Is Driving up Mt. Blue Sky scary?

I’ve heard that lots of people are nervous about this road. The road to the summit is a scenic byway, and the speed limit is 20mph for much of the way. So don’t expect to race right up to the summit! You do NOT need 4wd to take this road. In fact, you should take the most compact car you can! The road is narrow, full of potholes, with very steep drop-offs on both sides. Being in a smaller car will make the trip more enjoyable for you.

Where to Elope on Mt Blue Sky in 2024

Now, here is where it gets complicated. There are three areas within the Mt Blue Sky scenic byway area that technically belong to the City and County of Denver: Denver Mountain Parks manages Echo Lake, Mt. Goliath, and Summit Lake. You can elope in these 3 locations without a permit if you have a group size of 5 people or fewer. For larger groups, contact Denver Mountain Parks for a permit. Elsewhere on the mountain, elopement ceremonies are not allowed/discouraged, but you may take photos in additional locations.

Echo Lake Elopement Location

This roadside lake is open year round and has mountain views across the lake. Echo lake is located at the base of the road to the summit of Mt Blue Sky. You can have an elopement with up to 5 people here without a permit, or contact Denver Mountain Parks for permission for a larger ceremony.

Mt. Goliath Area on Mt Blue Sky

The last area still below the treeline at 11,000 feet is Mt. Goliath. It’s part of the Denver botanic gardens. It’s home to curated high alpine gardens, flowers and plants. The most interesting feature of the area is the grove of ancient bristlecone pines. Some of these trees can be many hundreds to 2 THOUSAND years old. The windy and cold climate promotes slow growth of these trees. When there’s fog on the mountain, this forest is pure magic.

Chicago Lakes Elopement Location, Colorado

Two lakes high on the mountain are called the Chicago Lakes. You can access these by either hiking down the steep trail from Summit lake, or up the mountain from Echo Lake. Both routes are strenuous.

Summit Lake Elopement Location on Mt Blue Sky

A stunning alpine lake above tree line. You can drive right up to the shore practically – though the dirt path has some bumps. Groups of under 5 people can do photography and elope without a permit. Summit lake is managed by Denver Mountain Parks.

The Shoulder of Blue Sky Mountain Elopement Location

One of my favorite spots on the mountain isn’t marked by any trailheads or names. The shoulder of the mountain therefore provides privacy and big mountain views.

The Summit of Mt. Blue Sky

At the top of Mt. Blue Sky, there’s an observatory, a historic stone building, and a pit toilet. If the view don’t take your breath away, the altitude sure will! At just over 14,000 feet, the air is so thin that you may experience altitude sickness. If you start feeling faint, dizzy, light-headed, short of breath or have a headache, you should descend right away. Three short and rocky switchbacks lead from the parking lot to the true summit. If you are able, you absolutely should hike to see the 360 degree view of the entire front range. If you are not able, there are two ADA accessible areas where a small ceremony can be held.

Great Elopement Locations near Mt Blue Sky

Down the mountain and back within the cover of trees, there are more amazing spots! Because these locations are in National Forests and not managed by the NPS, you are free to have your elopement ceremony here. These are great places to gather if you have invited guests. Or get set up with a picnic for two! There are creeks and waterfalls to explore, scenic views, fire lookouts, hikes, plentiful aspens, off roading trails, wildflower meadows and so much more! These “side dishes” are what makes the Mt Blue Sky area such a great place to Elope. I can’t wait to share all these hidden gems with you.

Chicago Creek Waterfall & Chicago Forks Picnic Area

On the west side of Echo lake, a small picnic area and the cascades of Chicago Creek provide a foresty elopement location option that’s outside the jurisdiction of the Mt Blue Sky Scenic Byway. No rules!

Beaver Brook Watershed Elopement Location

This pretty field is flanked by Aspen Trees. A short hike through the meadow rewards you with some hilly views, but nothing with distinct peaks.

Chief Mountain Elopement Location

A great alternative to marrying on Mt Blue Sky is the nearby Chief Mountain. This moderate hike winds through the forest before breaking the treeline and offering 360 degree views of Colorado’s mountain peaks from the rocky summit.

Juniper Pass Elopement Location

This has long been one of my favorite locations in Colorado for elopements and photos. It’s a real hidden gem, with a big rocky cliff overlooking mountains and the peak of Mt Blue Sky.

Ponder Point Picnic Area

Sprawling hills and rocky terrain surround this often-skipped picnic area on the west side of Mt Blue Sky. There are bathrooms too!

Here is my Mt Blue Sky Elopement Locations Map:

This map is like a virtual tour of Mt. Blue Sky with color photos I’ve taken of each place. So you can see all the great spots without leaving your living room. If you’re planning from afar, this is a great visual key to picking out the elopement spot that works for you. Details like what seasons and time of day are best for each location are included. It will help you plan your activities, accommodations, and your day’s itinerary. Lastly, it’s easy to have a great backup location picked out with this map in front of you. Having that Plan B in your back pocket will keep your planning stress-free!

About your Mt Blue Sky Elopement Photographer

As you can see, I’ve been all over! I’m a colorful Colorado mountain elopement photographer with an obsession for mountains, hiking, and my cats. I even had some of my own wedding photos on this mountain! My photography style emphasizes the epic landscape of your dreams and the authentic moments that make you two.. well, you two! I love my job and my nature-loving clients. Mt. Blue Sky is one of my favorite mountains to explore in Colorado. Maybe I’ll see you there!

Permits and Reservations for Mt Blue Sky

While this isn’t a national park, you do use your national park pass to get in, pr pay $15. In 2024, you ALSO need a $2 timed reservation to drive up Mt. Blue Sky. You make this reservation online at reservation.gov. On most weekdays, these tickets don’t sell out as fast as the entry tickets to other popular areas like Brainard Lakes and Rocky Mountain National Park. You must arrive in the 2-hour window on your ticket, and then you can stay as long as you like.

Mt. Blue Sky Name Change

On March 15, 2022, Clear Creek County officials in Colorado approved a measure to rename the mountain Mt. Blue Sky. The name change comes after many petitioned to rename Mt. Evans to one of several proposed new names. Mt Evans is was named for the racist shitbag John Evans, who ordered the Sand Creek Massacre and other atrocities while serving as Colorado’s Governor in the late 1800s. (Gross.) You can read more about the name change and the activism behind it here. This name change doesn’t change your access to the mountain.

When to elope at Mt. Blue Sky

Most of Mt. Blue sky is open from summer to early fall only. The lower road, from Echo Lake to Summit lake, is open usually from June 1 to October 1. The uppermost 5 miles, from Summit Lake to the Summit, are open from mid-June to Labor Day, weather permitting. In June you’ll still find plenty of snow on the ground. However, it can snow in ANY month at the summit, so always be prepared for changing weather. Late July and early August will be the most popular time on the mountain, with wildflowers and possible wildfire haze. Late August and September will bring Scotland vibes as the tundra turns auburn and crimson and the snow will be at its lowest. Though it varies depending on where you decide to elope on Mt Blue Sky, sunrise is usually the best time.

Mt Blue Sky Wildlife

Mt Blue sky is a great place for wildlife. Though I can’t make any guarantees, I have seen the big four on every visit I’ve made to Mt. Evans. Mountain Goats and Bighorn sheep have their adorable kids with them in June. Pika are similar to rabbits – they’re not actually rodents. And Marmots can be seen and heard scurrying around rock piles in the summer and fall.

Planning your Mt Blue Sky Elopement

This is just the starting point to your incredible mountain elopement at Mt Blue Sky! If you want to drive right up to a mountain lake, consider eloping on Mt Blue Sky. If you want to summit a mountain at sunrise, pick Mt. Blue Sky. If you want to stay close to the city of Denver and the airport, but still feel like you’re surrounded by nature – try a Mt Blue Sky wedding and elopement. If you want a full day of amazing experiences and even better scenery – just get in my inbox already!

Sample Elopement Timeline at Mt Blue Sky
5:45 Arrive at the summit for sunrise
6:00 First look at 14,000 feet
6:30 Coffee thermoses and donuts
7:30 Hike to an overlook
8:00 Private ceremony in front of an epic view
8:30 Hike out
9:30 Return to fire lookout tower for a nap
12:30 Meet up with family for Lunch at a lodge or pack a picnic to a mountain pass
1:00 Toasts
2:00 Explore a waterfall or off road trail

2024 Mt. Blue Sky Elopement Photography Packages

I offer Mt Blue Sky elopement packages including all day photography and planning services. There are no travel fees, download fees, watermarks or other hidden fees. These prices are for 2024.

All inclusive elopement packages start at $15,000

2 Day elopements at Mt Blue Sky – $9900

1.5 Days of elopement photography – $7900

1 Full day adventure elopement at Mt Blue Sky – $6900

Up to 4 hours elopement at Mt Blue Sky – $5500 **Only available on select Sept 2024 dates**

Ready to choose Mt Blue Sky? Let me help!

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